Daily COVID cases near 1000-mark
On Friday, July 3, Bengaluru reported 994 cases of COVID-19. With this, the city overtook Kolkata in the total number of positive cases.
The day before, on July 2, 889 cases had been reported. As of 2nd, Bengaluru topped the list of 30 districts in the state in terms of fresh cases reported, most cumulative deaths (100), and most active cases (5505).
However, Padarayanapura, Shivajinagar and Hongasandra that seemed to be on the verge of community transmission until recently, now have zero positive cases. But these localities remain containment zones, as a preventive measure.
Meanwhile, as many as 23 pourakarmikas have tested COVID-positive. Pourakarmikas said they have not been provided with proper protective gear, and that BBMP provides them with only gloves and masks that are reused for days.
Source: Deccan Herald | Indian Express |The Times of India
Ambulances will be reserved for each ward, says govt
State government said that about 400 ambulances will be reserved for COVID cases across all wards in Bengaluru. Every ward will have two reserved ambulances. About 785 extra beds will be identified in government hospitals for COVID patients. One lakh antigen test kits will be procured, and more task forces formed to ensure faster test results. Government also plans to issue guidelines for the handling of dead bodies.
The Sunday curfew will be resumed, and will be strictly enforced from 8 pm on Saturday to 5 am on Monday. Exceptions will be made only for essential services and emergencies. BMTC (Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation) services will not be open to the general public during the curfew, but a fleet of 100 buses will be operational for essential services. KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) said services will be normal on Saturday, but unavailable on Sunday. Pharmacies and drug stores will remain open, as will hotels and eateries which will offer only take-away services.
The Chief Minister’s office on Friday clarified that no discussions were held on imposing a lockdown in the State.
Source: Deccan Herald | The Hindu
BBMP inducting volunteers for contact tracing
With the increase in COVID-19 cases, contact tracing is becoming difficult for BBMP. To track down each primary and secondary contact of patients, the civic body has deployed 26 probationary tahsildars, who will monitor the situation in assembly constituencies.
Sources said that BBMP is also trying to organise a small army of 6,000 volunteers to help. A list of 6,000 volunteers has been submitted by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, including nurses, paramedical staff and medical students, while the civic body is trying to induct at least 2,000 volunteers to work on the field to identify contacts.
Many Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) have upped their proactive support measures to trace contacts as well as help those in home quarantine.
Source: Indian Express | The Hindu
Rs 67 lakh fine collected for flouting COVID norms
Ever since the lockdown rules were relaxed, the BBMP, police, and health officials have fined 33,540 people for not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing. They have also booked cases against 118 commercial establishments for not maintaining social distancing, besides penalising a few bars and restaurants for serving liquor inside their premises. Rs 67 lakh has been collected in fines overall.
Source: Deccan Herald
Schools to pay teachers by the hour
After cutting salaries or letting go of some of their faculty, some private school managements have decided to pay the remaining teachers in their rolls by the hour till schools reopen. In April and May, schools had cut salaries of teachers claiming there was no source of income, as they could not collect fees for the 2020-2021 academic year. Now, even though several parents have paid fees, schools are planning to pay teachers depending on the number of online classes they conduct. This has incensed teachers who said that a lot of preparation goes into each class.
V P Niranjan Aradhya, fellow at the Centre for Child and Law, National Law School of India University said this measure was a gross violation of the law. “This will also have an adverse impact on the quality of education imparted to the students. The quality of education is directly linked not just to qualifications of teachers but also the working conditions of the teachers,” he said.
The committee on technology-enabled education, formed to study the issue of online classes, has completed deliberations and will likely submit a report by Monday, said the government to the Karnataka High Court.
Source: The Hindu | The Times of India
BBMP mulls closing markets, commercial hubs
Many traders in major markets and commercial hubs have been voluntarily shutting their shops or reducing the number of working days. BBMP is also considering taking stronger measures.
KR Market and Old Pete area – including Chickpet and Avenue Road – marked containment zones, have been shut down by the BBMP. Whereas Malleswaram Commercial Association and a section of fruit-sellers at Singena Agrahara in Electronics City announced voluntary closure. Some traders at APMC Yard, Yeshwantpur, will work only three days a week, every alternate day.
However, several merchants and traders’ associations are unwilling to restrict their businesses. BBMP is expected to take a call soon.
Source: The Hindu
New burial grounds identified
The government has identified 35 acres and 18 guntas of land for burial grounds on the outskirts of the city, across villages in Dasanapura in Bengaluru North taluk, Uttarahalli and Tavarekere hoblis in Bengaluru South taluk, Jigani in Anekal taluk, and Jala and Hesaraghatta hoblis in Yelahanka taluk. The order followed complaints about bodies of COVID-19 victims being buried near residential areas. As per the notification issued by Bengaluru Urban deputy commissioner G N Shivamurthy, government land around nine villages has been notified for the creation of burial grounds with immediate effect.
Source: The Hindu | Deccan Herald
Stay on handing over the Yelahanka Puttenahalli Lake to BBMP
The Karnataka High Court stayed the state government’s notification on handing over Yelahanka Puttenahalli lake to the BBMP for maintenance, as the lake is part of the Puttenahalli Lake Bird Conservation Reserve.
A division bench passed the interim order on a PIL petition filed by Yelahanka Puttenahalli Lake and Boards Conservation Trust and others. The court said that the lake is part of the landscape that had been notified as a conservation reserve under the Wild Life (Protection) Act. It also directed the government to reconstitute within three weeks the conservation reserve management committee for the Bird Conservation Reserve, to advise the chief wildlife warden to maintain it.
Source: The Hindu
[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]